11/15/2017 3:44PM

English Channel leads Calumet stallion roster

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Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky., released the 2018 advertised fees for its 22-horse stallion roster, led once again by English Channel at $25,000 and featuring four new additions.

The fee for English Channel, a 15-year-old son of Smart Strike, remains unchanged from the previous season. His runners in 2017 are led by Grade 1 winner Johnny Bear, Grade 2 winner Heart to Heart, and Grade 3 winners Just Howard, Voodoo Song, and Irish Strait. He also sired Channel Maker, winner of the Breeders’ Stakes, a Canadian classic.

Keen Ice retires to Calumet Farm for a fee of $20,000 after winning three of 24 starts and compiling earnings of $3,407,245. He beat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to win the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, and won this year’s Grade 2 Suburban Stakes. He finished third in the 2015 Belmont Stakes and finished his career with runner-up efforts in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Bred in Kentucky by Glencrest Farm, the 5-year-old son of Curlin is the first and only foal out of the unplaced Awesome Again mare Medomak. He hails from the family of Grade 1 winner Serra Lake, Grade 2 winners Tara Roma and Waldoboro, and Grade 3 winners Cappuchino, Coal Play, and Crewman.

“Keen Ice has everything we look for in a stallion,” said Jak Knelman, Calumet’s director of stallion season sales. “He defeated the likes of American Pharaoh, Frosted, and Shaman Ghost. He is by leading sire Curlin out of a deep female family, and he has an impressive physical, standing over 16-2 with the balance and strength that American breeders look for.”

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Bal a Bali, a 7-year-old Put It Back horse, will stand for $15,000.

The Brazilian-bred won 15 of 26 starts for $748,190, including the Brazilian Triple Crown – the Estado do Re de Janerio, the Francisco Eduardo de Paula Machado, and Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul – en route to Brazilian Horse of the Year honors for the 2013/2014 season.

Bal a Bali was purchased Fox Hill Farms and Siena Farm in 2014, but he began to show early signs of laminitis while in transit, and missed most of his 4-year-old season getting the hoof condition treated. He also developed kidney issues and colitis that slowed his recovery.

The horse eventually became well enough to return for a 5-year-old campaign, and won his debut start, the Grade 3 American Stakes. Calumet Farm acquired Bal a Bali privately at the end of his 2016 season with intentions to stand him the following season, but the operation kept him in training and the horse picked up wins in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes and Shoemaker Mile Stakes.

Bal a Bali is out of the Brazilian Group 3-winning Clackson mare In My Side.

“Bal a Bali has as much heart as you could ask for from a stallion prospect,” Knelman said. “To be such a dominant 2-year-old and 3-year-old, and then to overcome laminitis and return to be a multiple Grade 1 winner in the U.S. really shows how much grit and determination he has as a racehorse.

“We are going to support Bal a Bali heavily with Calumet’s broodmare band. As he won from five furlongs up to 12 furlongs, with his preferred distance at a mile, he has the ability to sire a speedy 2-year-old while giving his progeny every chance to win at the classic distance.”

War Correspondent, a 7-year-old War Front horse, will debut at $7,500. He won five of 15 starts for $350,989, highlighted by scores in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes and Miami Mile Stakes.

Bred in Kentucky by Joseph Allen, War Correspondent is out of the winning Rahy mare Tempo West. He is a full brother to multiple Group 1 winner Declaration of War and French stakes-placed War Pact, and he is a half-sibling to Grade 2-placed stakes winner Vertiformer. Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags is in the extended family.

“War Correspondent is an exciting prospect with one of the most relevant sire producing female families in the book,” Knelman said. “Not only is he a full brother to Declaration of War, but he is also out of a half-sister to leading sire Union Rags. Physically he is a very attractive War Front and that should be very appealing to commercial breeders.”

Rounding out the newcomers to the Calumet stallion roster is Mr. Z, a Grade 1-placed stakes winner who will stand for $7,500.

The 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon won two of 25 starts for $1,177,378. He won the Ohio Derby during the stretch when it was downgraded to a listed stakes, and his graded placings include a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and thirds in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Los Alamitos Futurity.

Mr. Z was bred in Kentucky by Richard Maynard, and is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Stormy Bear, whose three winners from seven runners also include stakes-placed Ibn Al Nafis and Andean. Two-time Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearheart is in the extended family, as are Grade 1 winner and Panamanian champion Private Zone and Grade 1 winner Explosive Red.

“Mr. Z hails from the impressive Amelia Bearheart family,” Knelman said. “He was a gritty horse that showed up to every big dance on the track and we look forward to instilling that in his foals.”

Following is the complete list of 2018 fees for the Calumet Farm stallion roster.

Aikenite - $5,000
Americain - $7,500
Bal a Bali (NEW) - $15,000
Behesht - $5,000
Big Blue Kitten - $15,000
English Channel - $25,000
Eye of the Leopard - $2,500
Grey Swallow - $5,000
Keen Ice (NEW) - $20,000
Mr. Z (NEW) - $7,500
Musketier - $5,000
Optimizer - $5,000
Oxbow - $20,000
Producer - $5,000
Raison D’Etat - $5,000
Ready’s Image - $5,000
Real Solution - $5,000
Red Rocks - $10,000
Slumber - $5,000
Smarty Jones - $7,500
Snapy Halo - $2,500
War Correspondent (NEW) - $7,500